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One of the hardest things we can do in life is trying to get ourselves to stop being angry.
Especially if we feel we have a right to be angry.
Anger is a very normal emotion. We NEED anger.
Anger is a survival instinct that lets us know that something needs to be changed.
Unfortunately, many of us can get into a habit of constantly being angry. And sometimes we don’t even know why.
It can change who we are and how we react to people.
Luckily, there are things we can do to stop feeling so angry. And I will lay them all out for you in this article.
Why We Should Aim to Stop Being Angry
Like I said, anger is a healthy emotion. However, anger can become unhealthy very quickly.
Is it driving you to make a positive change in the world, in yourself, or in your relationships?
Then you probably aren’t using it in a healthy way.
Negative emotions like anger, stress, depression, etc are there to let us know something is wrong and we need to create a change! Whether that be how you view the situation, or the action you take to improve the situation.
If your anger over a politician promotes you to run for a government office yourself, or create programs to help in the area the politician is failing, your anger is turned into something positive and purposeful. You are coming up with a solution that will give your anger purpose.
If your anger over the politician has you typing up rants on social media and making hateful comments towards your family and friends for not agreeing with what you believe, then your anger is consuming you and turning you into someone you aren’t.
You aren’t finding a solution to the problem or changing anything to make the situation more positive, rather, you are consuming yourself and elevating your anger (and finding yourself with a lot less people to talk to, which will eventually make you depressed).
Again, your anger is is a survival instinct and there to tell you something is wrong and to use it to fix a problem. When you work to fix a problem in a positive way, your dopamine will automatically kick in and start making you feel happier.
You Aren’t Really Angry
Whenever we are angry, it is usually because we are feeling another emotion underneath.
Maybe we are stressed and taking it out on everyone. Maybe we feel disappointed that people aren’t like us. Maybe we feel hurt because we interpreted someone’s actions as being bad.
But the point is, there is a major difference in the vocabulary we use to describe what we are feeling.
So pinpoint the emotion you are truly feeling and say the true emotion.
For example. Saying “I’m pissed off” and “I’m disappointed” will have you acting two different ways. Which one is going to make you angry and want to yell and slam things?
So if what you are truly feeling is disappointment, say that! Your anger will subside because your brain will automatically issue orders to the rest of your body to feel disappointed, not angry.
If you are hurt, say that.
Your brain and body KNOW disappointment and hurt generally doesn’t entail slamming things and yelling, so it will help you calm down when you realize what it is you are TRULY feeling.
This is called transformational vocabulary. And it is what helps us calm down so we can work on the problem.
Do a Social Media Detox
Social media detox is generally listed as a cure-all for so many things. With good reason.
Social media is STRESSFUL!
Do you remember what life was like before social media? You didn’t have as much anxiety, I can almost guarantee it.
Social media can make us angry in a few different ways.
The first is constantly seeing other people who agree with a stance that you are unhappy with too. You see they are mad too.
You would think this would make you happy…. and in a way it does.
It increases the serotonin in your brain when you are validated, because you feel a connection with someone. However, this can also be a dangerous thing when anger is involved, because when you feel validated for being angry, you feel a sudden urge to take it further and be even angrier, because you keep feeling validated.
Moods are contagious. Anger will feed off anger. This is making you become more self-righteous and unable to see from other points of view! And this will possibly lead you to do negative actions you never would have done before you were so angry.
In the opposite case, when you see things you disagree with, you take a blow to your serotonin because you no longer feel a connection with someone. You feel hurt and invalidated. And what can anger be a cover for?
So if you feel yourself start to feel angry, or even if you feel anything other than happy, take a social media break until you feel more like yourself.
It will be there when you get back, I promise. And if there is something important, people can call you.
Most people do not believe that what we eat can affect our mental state.
But that is exactly what this website is all about, is me going into detail how nutrition affects our body and mind!!
If you eat nothing but junk, you will feel more stressed, easily frustrated, and a lot more anxious or depressed.
Being deficient in certain vitamins can cause irritability.
Artificial dyes, flavors, and ingredients have been linked to mood and mental disorders.
So you if you feel yourself being angry, or easily irritable for no reason, change your food!!!
Grab some almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Vitamin D fortified foods, leafy greens, and flaxseeds. These are rich in the vitamins and minerals that help mood.
Stop eating packaged food, fast food, and sugar.
I will be coming out with a series of articles in the future that will include recipes and exact vitamins and minerals to consume more of for states of anger, depression, and anxiety.
Is There Another Way to Look At Things?
Have you ever been driving and got angry at another driver and started cussing them out?
Then you get along side them and they are happily singing along with their radio, or talking to their family, seemingly unaffected by how much of a jerk they were?
That’s because you were the only one who knew you were in the argument. Which means the problem was with you, not them.
You chose to see their actions as unpleasant.
They may have been in a hurry to get to the hospital to see their dying mom. They could have never learned, like you did, that you shouldn’t get in front of people who are that close to you.
They may not have even noticed they did something wrong.
So when other people trigger your anger, ask yourself if there could be a good reason for their behavior?
Are they really disrespecting you, or are they just stressed about something else?
Are they really deliberately hurting you by not returning your call, or are they busy and overwhelmed with something else?
Are they attacking you, or are they telling you how insecure THEY are?
If they feel differently than you, ask them why they feel that way. And really listen.
So if you feel angry over another person’s actions, ask questions about what is really going on.
When someone treats you a certain way, it is 100% based on what they are going through at the moment and doesn’t have anything to do with you.
Ever been stressed out and took it out on someone else who didn’t deserve it? We have all been there.
Unfortunately it is very possible their actions towards you could be one of these scenarios.
So instead of responding to them in anger, ask yourself what might be going on that you don’t see? You may see the person isn’t the bad person you made them out to be.
Break The Pattern
If you get to the point where it just becomes a habit to be angry when feeling anything less than happy, you need to find a way to break the pattern.
Something that will shock and reset.
Maybe if you get angry, bust into a song or find a crazy saying to yell, or do a funny dance.
I used to do this all the time when my coworkers would make me angry. I did it so I wouldn’t yell at them or do something in anger to lose my job.
I think my favorite example was a supervisor was angry, said something rude to me, and made me feel bad about my performance.
So as he was walking away, I went back to work and belted out “Unappreciated” by Cherish. He turned around, smiled, shook his head and continued walking away. He was nice the rest of the day.
It will make you laugh and it immediately erases the anger. Once you start doing this, your brain will start resetting itself to not respond to anger so quickly.
If you are afraid of repercussions of doing this, do it in your head and not out loud.
More Examples: Breaking My Dad’s Anger Pattern
Ever know someone who is angry ALL THE TIME? This was my dad for most of my life.
He made a habit out of being angry. Being angry got results from everyone around him at work, down in the city where he dealt with not-so-nice people, and even at home. Which made him keep doing it because he learned being angry got him the results he wanted.
Unfortunately, this means if he wasn’t happy, he was angry. Those were the only two emotions he seemed to have.
I Broke His Pattern
I happened to be spending a month at my parents’ house in my early 20s. One day, my dad walked in the door yelling up a storm about something random (something about tires I think).
Usually, that would make me run and hide. This time, I was “over it” for some reason. I didn’t really care if I made him madder, which was a first for me. I knew I could outrun him to my car if I REALLY pissed him off.
I went to the guest room, grabbed a bottle of pills labeled “Happy Camper”, walked into the kitchen where he was slamming things and yelling, and slammed the pills on the counter.
I yelled over him, “Take one! In fact, take the entire bottle!”. Then I walked away singing “If You Are Happy and You Know It”.
The house grew silent. Then after a minute, I heard him laugh.
This was a first. It shocked me. I was ready to run, but it looked like I didn’t have to.
My dad was nicer and I didn’t hear him yell as much after that.
I found out later that this worked because I broke his pattern by shocking him into a different perspective.
(FYI, this may not work with everyone. I do not recommend to try it with abusive partners. In those cases, JUST LEAVE).
Stop Being So Controlling
Here is something we all need to remember: If you base whether you should be happy on whether people act how you expect them to act, you will NEVER be happy.
We all grew up learning different rules of what is acceptable and not acceptable. We all have different experiences that shape our beliefs in how people should be.
Just because we know something to be true, doesn’t mean that was someone else’s experience too.
By expecting people to act how we want them to is, in a way, trying to control them.
Once you stop trying to control people, you will suddenly stop feeling so angry at every person who steps out of line in your eyes.
Because you will understand it isn’t an attack on you if they don’t behave how you want them to.
Understand it is Okay to Feel Anger
It is perfectly okay to feel angry.
Anger can have great uses and can make you productive at producing wonderful changes.
Your anger is a way to tell you something isn’t right with YOU. You need to listen to what it is your anger is telling you and utilize it to make a change for the better. Whether that be your perception or an action.
And if you want a surefire way to turn your mindset and anger around, I highly recommend Tony Robbins Ultimate Edge Program. I listen to it over and over again and it helps me so much to stay in a productive and happy mindset.
Remember: It’s okay to get angry. It’s not okay to live there.